Skiing out of bounds for skiers

Skiers Aghast Over Non-Functioning Of 2nd Phase Gulmarg Gondola

ABID KHAN

Srinagar, Jan 4: Despite much fanfare given to opening of winter resort of Gulmarg on the eve of New Year for skiers, the Ski lifts have yet to be made operational by the tourism department much to the dismay of skiers.
 Gulmarg known all over world for its soft powdered snow have got only three functional ski lift facilities available for hundreds skiers who daily do skiing there.
 Every day hundreds of tourists -local and foreigners throng Gulmarg for skiing. The advanced level skier’s go for higher reaches but they are few in number and most of them do skiing on the low slopes that are in Gulmarg.
 Claimed by all the concerned agencies that the resort will be open for the winter sport lovers from New Year eve but in reality the major two ski lifts on Highland Slope and 85 Slope that cater most of the skiers have yet been made been functional.
 A T-bar ski-lift, also called T-bar, is a mechanized system for transporting skiers and snowboarders uphill, along the surface of the slope. It is generally employed for low-capacity slopes in large resorts and small local areas servicing skiers numbered in the dozens rather than in the hundreds or thousands.
 Eyewitnesses said, “Tourists both local and outsiders get disappointed on seeing the both the ski lifts closed for the skiing. It shows the lackadaisical attitude of department in repairing these lifts in summers .Mismanagement is continued hiccups in running of Cable Car Gondala second phase that carries skiers to top of 13500 ft Apharwat mountain for skiing.” said Nikhil of Maharashtra.
 Vishal, a tourist from Delhi said, “It is total mismanagement and unprofessional that ski lifts are undergoing repairs in the middle of the season. I am really disappointed to see lifts closed and have to return back without skiing from the best claimed winter sports destination of Country,”
 Another dejected tourist Vishal who had come to Gulmarg from New Delhi to try his hand on skiing said, “It is my first visit to Gulmarg in winter and only in first visit I had to face disappointment. From last five years I have been doing skiing in Himachal Pradesh and never ever I have faced situation like this their. They do all their repairs in summer or before start of the season”.
 It is not only outside tourists that are irked due to closure of lifts but the local skiers who go to Gulmarg for skiing also angry.
 “We don’t understand what is happening in the administration. They threw Gulmarg open for the skiers with huge media coverage but in reality there is no machinery functional here for the skiers. Lifts are closed and even second phase Gondola and merry shoulder chair lift remains closed most part of the day,” said Nisar of Srinagar.
 Due to the usual hiccups of second phase Gondola local tour operators and ski facilitators, guides are facing hard time with their foreign clients who does extreme skiing on the upper reaches of Gulmarg.
 “It is really affecting our business as well as reputation. They foreign skiers have thronged to Gulmarg with the view that resort is open. However they are surprised to see everything messy in the resort with repairs going on in ground lifts while Gondola second phase not working properly,” said local tour operator.
 “They come here on short visit and it is really bad to see Gulmarg getting bad name due to mismanagement of Tourism Department. They should not have thrown resort open with huge media,” he added.
 When contacted Director Tourism, Talat Parvaiz confirmed that lifts are undergoing repairs and said, “The lifts at Highland and 85 Slope are going repairs while baby slope near Golf Club is functional. We have done total overhaul of the lifts and have changed the 30 year old rope sued in lifts. If the repairs would not have been undertaken in summers, there was every possibility of ropes breaking during mid season”.
 Asked why repairs were not done during summer or couple of months earlier, he said, “Due to tendering processes and number of technical issues we could not undertake repairs early. However, the lifts would be fully functional from this Sunday,” he added. About the usual hiccups in the functioning of Gondola second Phase he said, “The Gondola remains functional throughout the year but due to some technical glitches it stops functioning at some time. This situation mostly arises during harsh winter climate.”

Lastupdate on : Fri, 4 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 4 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 5 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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